Jeptha Marr has built the town of Pawnee, Kansas, and established a successful freight company. He sees his fortunes at risk due to the encroachment of a new railroad, spearheaded by Stephen Bent. Marr sends his right-hand man Gideon Skene to disrupt Bent's activities. Bent takes an unusual tack in dealing with Marr's opposition: he woos Marr's daughter Vinnie. But the unscrupulous forces of a third opposing figure, the ruthless Champ Clanton, create an uneasy alliance between Bent and Marr.